A Journey of Six Teenage Boys Battling Duchenne, Uniting as a Team, and Triumphing as Champions
When we first received the devastating diagnosis of Duchenne for our son, Alex, our dreams of him sharing the love of sports and playing competitively seemed shattered. However, seven years later in 2018, everything changed when we discovered U.S. Power Soccer – a sport we had never heard of before.
We met Armando the coach and brought Alex to a practice to try it out. He immediately took to it.
From that moment on, Alex’s life took an extraordinary turn, and our journey with the LA Soccer Club began. It’s worth noting that Coach Armando’s son, Kyle, was an integral part of the club. Sadly, he passed away in 2019, right around the time when Alex joined.
Discovering U.S. Power Soccer
Power Soccer offers a unique experience for boys like Alex who have Duchenne. Seated in power soccer chairs, these boys wield control with a joystick, swiftly maneuvering, hitting the ball, spinning, and speeding on the court like never before. It’s a sensation they haven’t felt since they were able to walk. For these boys, who have now graduated to wheelchairs, being part of a team and scoring goals evokes an intoxicating thrill. U.S. Power Soccer breathed new life into our dreams.
The Birth of the LA Soccer Club
In 2022, the LA Soccer Club came into existence, comprising seven determined teenagers from various parts of SoCal, all with a shared commitment to pushing their limits. Traveling from Norco to Woodland Hills, these boys and their parents were fully dedicated to overcoming the challenges of driving and busy schedules. Their first tournament, the Founders Cup, pitted them against National Teams, and remarkably, they WON! This triumph ignited an intense passion that quickly spread, inspiring more boys with Duchenne in SoCal to explore this incredible sport.
Throughout the year, the soccer club organized Power Soccer Demonstrations at two of their high schools, and the entire student body enthusiastically cheered them on. Despite facing numerous challenges such as scheduling conflicts, long distances, and the occasional setbacks associated with Duchenne, these boys remained unwavering in their commitment.
A Heartbreaking Loss
In June 2023, tragedy struck the LA Soccer Club as they lost one of their own, Xavier Burrell, who fought valiantly against Duchenne but passed away at just 17 years old. Despite facing grief and fearing their own fate, these brave boys channeled their emotions and dedication to compete in the Presidents Cup at the MK Battery Cup Nationals, dedicating the tournament to Xavier’s memory.
For three intense days in Fort Wayne, IN, these boys played their hearts out, competing against teams from all over the country with different abilities and stories. They were motivated by Xavier’s spirit, represented by an empty power soccer chair adorned with his jersey and flowers. In the final game against Ohio, the “Team from Los Angeles” gave it their all, ultimately winning the championship with a score of 2-1, a victory dedicated to Xavier.
Imagine six teenage boys, all diagnosed with Duchenne, coming together on a U.S. Power Soccer Team, guided by a coach who lost his own son to the same disease. Their story is one of triumph over adversity, inspiring hope and courage in the face of daunting challenges.
The journey of the LA Soccer Club is nothing short of remarkable.
The Walking Strong Power Soccer League is more than just a sports team; it is a beacon of hope and resilience for those facing Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.